Citing budgetary constraints, President Barack Obama has cancelled the US project designed to take humans back to the Moon. The Constellation program envisaged a new crew ship called Orion to put astronauts on the lunar surface by 2020. But in his 2011 budget request issued Feb. 1, Obama said the project is too costly, “behind schedule, and lacking in innovation.” The president said he plans to turn to the private sector for launch services. “While we’re cancelling Constellation, we’re not cancelling our ambitions,” said Jim Kohlenberger, chief of staff at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). (BBC News, Feb. 1)
It is unclear if Obama is actually anticipating a private sector role for lunar colonization. We are heartened—especially in the wake of October’s lunar bombardment (MSNBC, Oct. 9)—that the Moon may be safe from imperialist aggression for a few more decades, at least.
Unfortunately, the anti-war left, which vigorously opposes the US bombing of foreign countries on Earth, has been blithely unconcerned with this unprovoked aggression against the Moon. (No, we aren’t being sarcastic.) Worse yet, the few voices that have been raised in opposition to this reckless adventurism are from certified wackjobs who are only discrediting the case against lunar bombardments and colonization. For instance, this commentary by Alfred Lambremont Webre from last June 19 on Examiner.com legitimately points out that the planned lunar bombardment violated the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the 1979 Moon Treaty—and then shoots itself in the foot with sheer wackjobbery about how the bombardment “may cause conflict with lunar ET/UFO civilizations.”
And we anticipate that if there are any responses to this post, it is either going to be geekish space-boosters baiting us as reactionary luddites or paranoid wack-jobs baiting us as tools of the government conspiracy to cover up the existence of extra-terrestrial civilizations on the Moon. Oh well, bring it on…
See our last post on the struggle for outer space.